There is many songs played and sung at the 4th of July firework displays. We sing these songs to spread joy and show that we care about America.

Star Spangled Banner

The most popular of these songs is the “Star-Spangled Banner” because it is the national anthem of the United States of America. It is a poem written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key when he was 35 years old. Following the Battle at Fort McHenry in the War of 1812, he saw the flag still waving against the vision of bombs bursting in air.

 God Bless America

Another popular song was written by Irving Berlin that was called “God Bless America” in 1918 while serving in the U.S. Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York. The lyrics at that time included the line, “To the oceans, white with foam, God bless America…” and also “Stand beside her and guide her, to the right with the light from above.” “God Bless America” is a prayer put into lyrics for God’s blessing and careness for the nation we have. In 1938, the rising of Hitler was taking place, and Berlin was Jewish and a first-generation European immigrant, felt it was time to share his “peace song”, and introduced it on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938 sung by Kate Smith, on her radio show.

My Country ‘Tis of Thee

“My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, or is now known as “America” was written by Samuel Francis Smith. It is an American patriotic song, and the melody used is “God Save the Queen” in 1931. His friend Lowell Mason had asked him to translate the lyrics in a few German school songbooks or to write new lyrics. A melody caught his attention. Rather than translating the lyrics from German, Smith wrote his own American patriotic song to the melody completing the lyrics in just thirty minutes. The song was first performed in public on July 4, 1831, at a children’s 4th of July celebration at Park Sreet Church in Boston. The first publication of “America” was in 1832.

 Dixie

“Dixie”, also known as “I wish I was in Dixie” and many other different titles, was written by Daniel Decater Emmett, and was a really popular song to Americans, particularly to those of the 19th century. Although not a folk song, the song says the word “Dixie” which in the American vocabulary as a synonym for the Southern United States. “Dixie” tells the story of a freed black slave yearning for the plantation of his birth. Today, “Dixie” is sometimes considered offensive, and the act of singing it to provide sympathy for the concept of slavery in the American South.

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